U.S. pushes through radar plans despite opposition in Czech Republic
Russia Today, September 4, 2008, 10:33
The U.S. is to deliver the first funds to the Czech Republic for the
construction of its controversial radar base at the end of this month
according to reports in Czech media, The radar is to be linked to a
missile base planned to be built in Poland. However, the majority of the
Czech population remains opposed to the U.S. plan.
The country's Deputy Foreign Minister, Tomas Pojar, will visit the
United States shortly to discuss security co-operation.
On the 40-year anniversary of the Prague Spring, when communist Warsaw
Pact troops rolled their tanks into the Czech Republic to violently
suppress the country's liberalisation, the Czech people are very
conscious of the parallels.
They regard the U.S. missile base on their territory as yet another
invasion by a foreign power.
In early July protesters marched through Prague when Condoleezza Rice
came to sign the final treaty with her Czech counterpart Karel
Schwarzenberg. They held signs with the dates '1938, 1968, 2008',
referring to what they consider the three invasions of the Czech
Republic: by Nazi leader Adolf Hitler, Soviet Premier Leonid Brezhnev
and U.S. President George Bush respectively.
Jan Neoral is the mayor of a village just a couple of kilometres away
from the potential radar site, which is to be moved there from an atoll
in the Pacific Ocean. He conducted his own local referendum: 99% of the
residents were against the radar deployment.
“Recently our Minister for the Environment told Parliament that he
doesn’t have the technical details for the radar, which still needs to
be upgraded, so he can’t judge what influence it will have on people and
nature. However, last year a state commission had already concluded the
radar was safe! That simply means the state report was a lie!” said
Neoral, who also happens to be a professionally qualified expert on
radar, has independent reports which show that the harmful effects of
the radar waves could extend as far as 100 kilometres.
Jaroslav Rampa and his wife live on the other side of the Brdy military
compound. He helped gather signatures for a petition that he sent to
"If you do nothing, you become an accomplice. And we have a lot to fight
for!" he stressed.
"Just a while ago the Russians were moving their troops out of here with
a lot of noise - our politicians were swearing that never ever again
will there be a foreign army in our land. And look at us - just a few
years have passed and our authorities are already pandering to the
Americans, who just want to surround the Russians - it is obvious that
it’s against Russia!" said Rampa.
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